Finance | August 24, 2017 1:08 pm

How Hugh Hefner’s 25-Year-Old Son Plans to Give Playboy Generational Makeover

After failed experiment jettisoning nudity, Cooper Hefner looks toward future of iconic brand.

It’s true: Nobody who’s under the age of, say, 30 or 40, remembers when Playboy was a big deal. These days, it’s just another skeleton of the past, wrapped in plastic, that some dads still ask for behind gas station counters.

At one point in its 64-year history, everyone who was anyone in the literary world found his or her way into its pages. Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, Roald Dahl, Margaret Atwood all published pieces in the magazine. As did Ian Fleming. And Jack Kerouac. The list goes on and on.

As heir-apparent 25-year-old Cooper Hefner, youngest son of founder Hugh, found six months into his run at the magazine, change isn’t always a good thing. That was when he realized that the magazine’s experiment of publishing non-nude models was an abject failure, and quickly reversed course.

Now, the younger Hefner’s looking toward the future. “Creating something that resonates with my generation and the generation that comes after mine is how I’ll measure my accomplishments,” Cooper told The Hollywood Reporter. “We need our story to be told with one voice across all platforms.”

As THR notes, Playboy isn’t just about the iconic magazine. In fact, that’s not even the top moneymaker. That would be licensing (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars), followed by the magazine (circulation is 450,000 down from 5.6 million), television (Playboy TV), digital (4 million uniques per month), and its nightclub and events division (there’s actually a Playboy Jazz Festival).